GroupM is the largest buyer of YouTube in India: Mark Patterson

MUMBAI: Video streaming platform YouTube with its 265 million monthly active users has emerged as the preferred digital video destination for advertisers to connect with their audiences.

No wonder, media agency GroupM, which manages the media spends of top brands, is the largest buyer of YouTube in India. This was stated by GroupM Asia Pacific CEO Mark Patterson at the YouTube Brandcast 2019 event here.

“User behavior has shifted massively to mobile video and therein lies the opportunity for marketers today. With the growth of YouTube in India, it is an amazing time to be a marketer; as you can do full-funnel growth, creative storytelling and cross-channel planning easily. It is no wonder GroupM is the largest buyer of YouTube in this market,” Patterson stated.

The paradigm shift in the content consumption pattern of the consumer towards mobile has forced brands to strategise more to uplift their reach through digital. With this YouTube is becoming a key platform for brands to communicate with their audience. YouTube’s director mix and masthead tools are providing better solutions to help brands reach their targeted audiences.

India is 10th largest advertising market in the world by ad spends. It is also the fastest growing market in the world with a growth rate of 14% compared to a global average of 3.5%.

Patterson gave a brief understanding on how the media landscape is evolving, and how mobile video and specifically YouTube has become the secret weapon in every Indian market. He also threw some lights on how GroupM is winning it with mobile video; and how it helps brands in the world to grow their businesses using the power of YouTube.

He said, “Google and GroupM enjoy a special relationship that extends to all parts of Asia Pacific. But nowhere is this more true than here in India. We’re not only the largest buyers of TV in India, but also the largest buyer of YouTube in the country. And this puts us in a unique vantage point.”

The opportunity for brands exists in the digital space, however, it is important to know how to pursue that opportunity. “I spent a lot of time talking to CMOs, and CEOs. And there were three common things that surface regularly 1) driving results across the funnel, 2) unlocking creativity, and 3) optimising media across multiple channels, what we call cross channel planning,” Patterson noted.

He further explained how YouTube can help in covering all the three aspects. He said, “YouTube is not just about driving awareness, it can also drive sales and most importantly boost funnel metrics. The consumer journey is at the forefront of marketing. It is also important to identify the right triggers and deliver the message effectively and connect that message to sales.”

He shared a case study of GSK, where the team used weather signals to predict cold and flu outbreaks at the city level, and tap consumers in their moment of need with the right communication. The impact was measured end to end with online retailers and the company saw 100% increase in offtake across all the key inventory parameters.

Speaking about unlocking creativity marketing, Patterson said, “YouTube can help deliver massively personalised messages, we use this in the creative innovation with some of our customers and I’ve seen personalisation deliver performance.”

He further supported his views by citing example of telecom operator Idea where the company used the Director Mix for their top 20 music videos. This contextualised messaging saw results with 20% uplift in brand metrics in consideration and 31% uplift in awareness and an astonishing 900% increase in search queries.

Going further on his third point about cross channel planning, he said, “Now this aspect is still very much a work in progress in the industry, and is localised with different methodologies being used in different countries. While the industry is working towards some form of standardised methodology, we’ve taken a step in this direction by working with Google to integrate YouTube rich data within our own planning tools. So that our partners can now build screen agnostic plans optimised and maximum reach for brands across multiple devices.”

GroupM estimated that digital AdEx will continue to grow by 30% in India in 2019. Mark Patterson said, “If we look at the digital spending in APAC market, on the one hand, we have China with 64% of all major investment being on digital. And on the other end of the spectrum, we have India with only 18% major investment being spent on digital and all the other markets are somewhere in between.”

He further added, “So like China, we see even the creators in India preferring online video versus traditional formats. Local content is taking center stage with India’s largest creators producing vernacular content to drive engagement. One of the world’s most popular YouTube channels now hails from this very place, T series is YouTube channel and now it has more than 90 million subscribers.”